Aaron Wainwright has backed the young stars at Dragons to keep grasping the opportunity to shine in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup.
Dragons put on a sensational attacking display as they defeated Scarlets 52-32 in the opening round of the competition at Rodney Parade.
The were 12 tries scored in the Round One try fest with the home side claiming seven of them courtesy of Dragons Academy products Aneurin Owen and Rio Dyer plus scores from Jordan Williams, and a brace for Wainwright and player-of-the-match Jonah Holmes.
But it was the all-round performance from the up-and-coming stars that most pleased Wales international back row Wainwright.
“We were pleased with how we played and how we finished the game,” said the 24-year-old.
“Dean (Ryan) spoke to a couple of the senior boys at the start of match week and said how the next block of games was going to be about trying to get some of the young and fringe boys experience and game time.
“The Scarlets game was a perfect example of how that can work well for us.
“Some of them came off the bench and put in great performances and obviously those that started too did really well. It is really exciting to be a part of that and see how they progress throughout the game.
He added: “We spoke about it as a team that this tournament is an opportunity to catapult us into next season, but also a chance for some of the younger boys to play and show what they can do to create some strength in depth across the team.
“We saw with how well some of the younger boys played that it is definitely going in the right direction, with how they are playing and the strength we are going to be creating.
“Hopefully there will be more appearances and more experiences for them playing in the first team.”
Ryan’s men have put together a string of impressive performances and victories in the second part of the season.
And Wainwright is hopeful the side can now maintain recent momentum as they prepare to head to Cardiff Blues this weekend.
“We’ve been playing well and in the Northampton game we just didn’t hold out well enough - but we still saw glimpses of how well we can play,” said the Dragons Academy graduate.
“Building on the rest of this competition now is about carrying on how we’ve been playing and building towards next season by just adding on bits of detail to what we do.
“The Scarlets game was a great testament to us as a team, how we came back and reacted after the defeat by Northampton.”
We spoke about it as a team that this tournament is an opportunity to catapult us into next season, but also a chance for some of the younger boys to play...